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Winthrop University Hospital

11th Annual Cancer Survivors Day: A Celebration of Hope, Inspiration, and Life



It was a true celebration of life as nearly 500 cancer survivors, their loved ones and Winthrop staff gathered at Winthrop’s 11th Annual Cancer Survivors Day on June 4 at the Long Island Marriott Hotel in Uniondale.

The opening remarks from keynote speaker Jonathan Haas, MD, Associate Director of the Division of Radiation Oncology at Winthrop, captured the essence of this inspiring annual event.

“We meet here today as winners. We have won because all of us in the room, working together, have overcome a battle against one of the scariest words and diseases that we know – cancer – to celebrate as Winthrop cancer survivors,” said Dr. Haas.

6 The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a “survivor” as anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. The annual celebration applauds the resilience of the human spirit and recognizes the significant strides made in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Haas also reflected on the “astounding” advances in cancer care that have occurred since he joined the Winthrop team 12 years ago.

“I see the child who I treated for a glioblastoma – the most challenging brain tumor that we know – grow up to become a radiation oncology therapist.

I see the medical student with Hodgkins Disease, who Dr. Weiner and I cured, now becoming an oncologist. I see my Hodgkins patient who was told she probably couldn’t have children when diagnosed 11 years ago send me a picture of her baby daughter… simply writing ‘thank you’ on the card,” he said.

Sharing her story of survival and optimism, guest speaker and cancer survivor Joyce Glicker emphasized the importance of never giving up. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, she passed her five-year mark with positive news in 2005 and celebrated. However, in November of that same year she was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Mrs. Glicker thanked her loving family and friends for their support, emphasizing that cancer can “bring out the best in people.” She also praised Winthrop and the dedicated team of healthcare professionals who have played an instrumental role in her care over the years.

6 “It has been 10 years since the start of my cancer journey and being cared for by oncologist Alexander Hindenberg, MD, and his staff has helped me feel like I am always in safe and comfortable hands,” she said.

Guest speaker Beth Schwartz also shared her thoughts as a caregiver for her 24-year-old daughter, Melisande, who was diagnosed with Leukemia last fall. She praised her daughter’s strength and thanked Harry Staszewski, MD, Chief of the Division of Oncology/ Hematology at Winthrop, for the calm and reassuring manner he provided while treating Melisande, who has since completed the requirements for her teaching degree.

In addition to the dinner celebration, which included dancing and raffle prizes, Winthrop’s Institute for Cancer Care sponsored an educational cancer survivors workshop on June 24.

For additional information about Winthrop’s Institute for Cancer Care, please call 1-866-WINTHROP.
Vol. 19, No. 2
Summer 2009

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